Games Reviews: Parenting Patch
Parenting Patch: Funnybone Toys and Games Review and Giveaway: Arrazzles Under the Sea, Anaxi, Melvin & Simon, Juxtabo, and Spiro
As a kid, I loved playing games with my family. Now that I have my own kids, I am passing on the interest to my daughter and son. I especially love board and card games, which bring my family together without a screen. Thus, when recently offered the chance to review Arrazzles Under the Sea, Anaxi, Melvin & Simon, Juxtabo, and Spirot from Funnybone Toys and Games in exchange for my honest opinion, I eagerly accepted the opportunity.
About Funnybone Toys The mission of Funnybone Toys is to combine both fun and design to stimulate creativity and give the brains of players a workout. President Julien Sharp spent her early adult life as a Cruise Director on ships all around the world. She quickly learned to enjoy games, which were essential for making sure guests had a fun time indoors on bad weather days. Funnybone Toys was founded in 2011, and the first “Art of Card Games” series was launched at Toy Fair New York in 2012. The company currently offers almost a dozen games and has won almost 40 industry awards. I received Arrazzles Under the Sea, Anaxi, Melvin & Simon, Juxtabo, and Spirot.
Arrazzles Under the Sea
Arrazzles Under the Sea is the first in a new series of building toys modeled after the original Arrazzles, the multi-award winning, art-inspired building toy, launched by Funnybone Toys in 2013. Arrazzles cards have five different patterns of slots that allow player to create awesome 3D arrangements! The box contains forty-five beautiful cards depicting a variety of marine creatures including the occasional scuba diver! The toy currently costs $19.99
Recommended for players age 4 and older, Arrazzles Under the Sea is a fun building toy that allows kids to build an underwater sea environment using geometric cards. My daughter and I like to build 3D creations, and my son loves looking at all the marine images. For players who are not yet able to fit the cards together in the slots, the game easily adapts for two-dimensional play by sliding the cards together to build flat artistic pieces. I love that Arrazzles Under the Sea is a STEAM toy that teaches kids engineering and building skills while introducing some amazing marine wildlife. My preschooler enjoys the toy too, and she actually stole the box and pieces from me while I was writing this review! I also love that the flat cards never hurt when stepped on. Anaxi Anaxi is a word game in which two to six players connect words in surprising ways to score points. The games comes with 75 Anaxi Word Cards, two base cards, one-minute timer, and answer pad. Each Anaxi Word Cards contains a word commonly used in everyday life. To play a round, place three cards on the base. All players then work to write down as many people, places, or things that share the overlapping qualities. At the end of each round, players receive a point for each original and unique answer. At the end of five rounds, the player with the most points wins! Winner of the Creative Child Magazine Creative Child Awards 2016 Game of the Year Award, Anaxi currently costs $21.99.
Recommended for players age 8 and older, Anaxi is a bit advanced for both my kids, but my husband and I enjoy playing together. In fact, of the five Funnybone Toys games that I received, my husband says that Anaxi is his favorite. I have always liked word games, and Anaxi really makes you think. Coming up with people, places, and things that share two or three traits can be quite difficult but also extremely fun. For example, can you think of something that is lumpy, sour, and cuddly? I immediately thought of my dog Espen but am having trouble coming up with other things that share all three characteristics. With 75 word cards, you and your family is sure to spend hours connecting words in surprising ways while having a bit of wholesome fun!
Melvin & Simon
Melvin & Simon combines the classic memory game with the art of collage. Melvin (cat) and Simon (dog) are up to some antics in 24 different collage scenes including scuba diving, building a fort, and playing jazz! A portion of the proceeds from the game are donated to the ASPCA and other organizations that help animals in need. The game currently costs $16.99.
Recommended for kids ages 4 and up, Melvin & Simon is a super fun memory game that I can easily play with my four-year-old daughter. She and I love to spread out all 48 cards and spend about half an hour trying to make matches. Unlike traditional memory games, the collages on these cards makes playing a bit trickier. Remembering where each card is located is definitely harder than with other memory game cards. However, my daughter and I have a blast competing with each other. Sometimes she wins. Sometimes I win. My toddler son also likes looking at the colorful cards, although he is still too young to understand the rules of the game. I definitely recommend Melvin & Simon to families with younger children!
Juxtabo is a colorful stacking game that combines skills from chess, checkers, and puzzle games. To play, set up a game board by randomly arranging Juxtabo pieces in a square. Each player then draws seven pieces and two challenge cards. The object of the game is to identify color patterns on the board that match the patterns on the cards. Players can change the colors of the pieces on the board by stacking like-colors. When you spot a pattern on the board, shout “Juxtabo” and claim the card. You can set up the board in 4 by 4, 5 by 5, or 6 by 6 configurations and look for either three-dot or four-dot patterns. The game currently costs $29.99.
Recommended for kids ages 6 and older, Juxtabo is my second favorite game that I received from Funnybone Toys. The game requires a combination of critical thinking skills and luck. My daughter is still a bit too young to fully understand the game, but my husband and I already love playing with her. Juxtabo is easy to set up and requires only a flat surface. I love that you have to think ahead to create color patterns on the board. My toddler son loves playing with the double-sided color pieces, and I am excited to continue sharing this entertaining and educational game with my children for years to come!
Spirot is an art sequencing game with a dash of pixels and a splash of color. After setting up the 3 by 3 board with the nine Board Cards, players stack Spirot Cards onto the corresponding photographic Board Cards and create rows of sequences to win points. A sequence consists of three cards in a row that have one of four combinations: (1) same color and same pixel pattern, (2) same color and different pixel patterns, (3) different colors and same pixel pattern, and (4) different colors and different pixel patterns. The first player with five points wins. The game currently costs $15.99.
Of the five games that I received from Funnybone Games, Spirot is my absolute favorite. Although recommended for kids ages 6 and older, my four-year-old daughter is already getting quite good at the game. She and I play a few rounds a few times a week. My family and I also like having family game time a few nights a week after dinner, and Spirot is our favorite game to play together. The game again requires a combination of thinking skills and luck. My preschooler often sees color and pixel sequences before I do! I look forward to sharing this art sequencing game with my two kiddos for many years to come.
If you are searching for some new family games to play with your family, I highly recommend Arrazzles Under the Sea, Anaxi, Melvin & Simon, Juxtabo, and Spirot from Funnybone Toys and Games. Arrazzles Under the Sea is the first in a new series of building toys. The forty-five beautiful cards depicting a variety of marine creatures have five different patterns of slots that allow player to create awesome 3D arrangements! Anaxi is a word game in which players connect two or three words in surprising ways to score points. Melvin & Simon combines the classic memory game with Melvin the cat and Simon the dog in 24 different colorful collage scenes. Juxtabo, my second favorite game that I received, is a colorful stacking game that combines skills from chess, checkers, and puzzle games. Spirot is an art sequencing game with a dash of pixels and a splash of color that requires a combination of thinking skills and luck. My family already enjoys all five games, and I look forward to sharing my Funnybone Toys and Games with my kids for many years to come!
Image Credits Funnybone Toys and Games Review © 2016 Heather Johnson Funnybone Toys and Games © 2016 Heather Johnson Arrazzles Under the Sea from Funnybone Toys and Games © 2016 Heather Johnson Playing Arrazzles Under the Sea 1 © 2016 Heather Johnson Playing Arrazzles Under the Sea 2 © 2016 Heather Johnson Playing Arrazzles Under the Sea 3 © 2016 Heather Johnson Anaxi from Funnybone Toys and Games © 2016 Heather Johnson Playing Anaxi 1 © 2016 Heather Johnson Playing Anaxi 2 © 2016 Heather Johnson Playing Anaxi 3 © 2016 Heather Johnson Melvin & Simon from Funnybone Toys and Games © 2016 Heather Johnson Playing Melvin & Simon 1 © 2016 Heather Johnson Playing Melvin & Simon 2 © 2016 Heather Johnson Playing Melvin & Simon 3 © 2016 Heather Johnson Juxtabo from Funnybone Toys and Games © 2016 Heather Johnson Playing Juxtabo 1 © 2016 Heather Johnson Playing Juxtabo 2 © 2016 Heather Johnson Playing Juxtabo 3 © 2016 Heather Johnson Spirot from Funnybone Toys and Games © 2016 Heather Johnson Playing Spirot 1 © 2016 Heather Johnson Playing Spirot 2 © 2016 Heather Johnson Playing Spirot 3 © 2016 Heather Johnson